Acre, Israel—Around 50 people gathered for the national inauguration of the Interreligious Association for Peace and Development (IAPD) in the coastal city of Acre in northwest Israel on December 20, 2018. Attending the event were senior religious leaders from the four main faiths in Israel—Judaism, Christianity, Islam and Druze—political and educational leaders, and peace and social activists.
The program began with former member of the Knesset (MK) Zouheir Bahaloul, who was the emcee of the event, inviting the religious leaders to offer their messages of peace. Representing Islam was Sheik Samir Aasi; Christianity, Father Masoud Abu-Hatoum; Judaism, Rabbi Yaakov Luft; and the Druze faith, Sheik Samich Natur.
UPF honored seven people with Ambassador for Peace awards for their dedication to building bridges within society.
Presentations about the Ambassador for Peace program and the IAPD were offered by the UPF-Israel team: Mrs. Miri Kamar-Friedman, secretary general of UPF-Israel’s Jerusalem Interfaith Forum, and Dr. Nurit Hirschfeld, secretary general of UPF-Israel. This part of the program was followed by the signing of the IAPD Declaration by the religious leaders.
The event concluded with an interfaith prayer led by the president of UPF-Israel, Mr. Hod Ben Zvi. The four religious leaders each offered a prayer for peace in the family and society.